This essay is drawn from four lectures that I presented on expeditions in Mexico and the Caribbean during the past two decades. In each talk, I deal with political, economic, and cultural dimensions of Latin American history.
I begin with Mexico (written in 2001). I first discuss the settlement of Mexico by Amerindian civilizations, the rise and fall of Amerindian empires (Teotihuacán, Zapotec, Mayan, Toltec, and Aztec), the Spanish conquest, Spanish colonization, and Mexican independence. Then I explain Mexico’s loss to the United States of Texas, New Mexico, and California, Mexican development under Porfirio Diaz, the Mexican Revolution (1911-1920), post-revolutionary Mexico, and modern Mexico since 1946. I next compare Portuguese colonization in Brazil with Spanish colonization in Mexico, Peru, and Argentina (written in 2007), contrasting Portugal’s and Spain’s conquests, colonial export cycles, and loss of control in the early 19th century. I wind up with a comparison of British, French and Dutch colonization and development in the Eastern Caribbean region in the past three centuries (written in 2007). I append a time line, a bibliography, and a description of sites that I visited in the Caribbean region.
Aboard the Silver Cloud, Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, United Kingdom, Marigot, St. Martin, France and Philipsburg, St. Maarten, The Netherlands, St. John’s, Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda, Castries, St. Lucia, Bequia, The Grenadines, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, St. George’s, Grenada, Bridgetown, Barbados, Roseau, Dominica, Gustavia, St. Barthélemy, France, Basseterre, St. Kitts, St. Kitts and Nevis, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands, United Kingdom, Devil’s Island, French Guiana, Tikal, Guatemala, British Virgin Island, Anguilla, Guadeloupe, and Martinique